LSTC professor outlined biblical message of hope at climate change summit
Posted Dec 23, 2009
“God is mourning on behalf of the earth rather than cursing it,” said the Rev. Dr. Barbara Rossing during her session of the public seminar, “Creation and the climate crisis,” presented in Copenhagen during the United Nations climate summit in December.
Rossing sees the Book of Revelation as a wake-up call and a warning of the logical consequences of human actions if their course remains unchanged.
Rossing was part of the Lutheran World Federation delegation to the U.N. Climate Change summit. She added her name to a letter from eminent church leaders to the negotiators at the summit imploring industrialized countries to “not be afraid” and to “act now” to enter into firm and binding agreements to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches also signed the letter.
The “Creation and climate change” seminar which was co-hosted by the Department of Systematic Theology of the University of Copenhagen and the National Council of Churches in Denmark, emphasized the way the climate crisis is bringing the world together and the church’s role in expressing God’s love for the whole world.
“Climate disaster is not inevitable,” Rossing said. “There is still time to change.”
For more on the World Council of Churches at the climate change summit, and to listen to Rossing’s presentation in Copenhagen, visit
Barbara R. Rossing is professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where she has taught since 1994. Rossing is a sought-after lecturer, preacher, and Bible study leader. She serves on the executive committee and council of the Lutheran World Federation, where she also chairs the Lutheran World Federation\'s theology and studies committee. Her book, The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation (Basic Books, 2004), a critique of fundamentalist “Left Behind” theology continues to receive national attention. Other works include The Choice Between Two Cities: Whore, Bride and Empire in the Apocalypse (Trinity Press, 1999); two volumes of the New Proclamation commentary for preachers (Fortress Press, 2000 and 2004) and articles and book chapters on the Apocalypse and ecology. Contact Barbara Rossing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, forms visionary leaders who bear witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. It provides high-quality seminary and graduate education for women and men in a community that is global, multicultural, ecumenical, interfaith, and urban. LSTC faculty provides resources for the whole church through their research, writing, and workshops and presentations around the world. Graduates serve in every type of ministry setting as they work to realize the gospel vision of peace and justice.